Their Favorite Things


When my sister and I were kids, our parents encouraged an appreciation of the great American musicals. They enrolled us in dance classes, and when “The Sound Of Music” would air on TV, it was one of the rare times when they would let us stay up late with school the next day. They also had the a copy of the soundtrack of the 1965 film on vinyl, which came out regularly.

As that music and story played such a large role in my childhood, imagine my shock when decades later I receive a random email from the great-grandson of Georg and Maria Von Trapp.

That’s right: great-grandson Nathaniel Peters wrote to introduce himself as a longtime Ivy Style reader who had recently gotten married. Peters and his wife Barbara Jane Sloan will be the lead story in tomorrow’s edition of the New York Times wedding pages, and he thought I would appreciate the story behind what he chose to wear. The Ivy League Look, after all, provides clothing for every occasion.

First, here’s the Times with a little background on Nathaniel:

Growing up on Martha’s Vineyard, Mr. Peters was bookish and interested in existential questions and distinctive clothing from an early age. “He’s the kind of person who wants to wear bright orange shoelaces in his very fancy dress shoes,” said Clare Rose, a friend. “He’s often seen in a bow tie or some kind of hat.”

Ms. Rose added, “He knows what he likes, and nothing he likes is run of the mill.”

By the fall of 2013, he was a graduate student in theology at Boston College, fluent in Latin, fond of three-piece suits and living in a house on the edge of campus that was full of people studying religion and philosophy.

When it came to courtship, here were some of the couple’s favorite things:

During that year, they created several traditions together. “Sunday nights were ‘Sherlock’ and ‘Downton Abbey’ or, when those were not on, Shakespeare,” he said. They formed a group that gathered regularly at his kitchen table to sing in harmony, and he taught her how to cross-country ski on the trails outside the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vt.


…Not long after, she recalled, he asked her: “Remember our conversation about being two pilgrims along the way? Well, I would like to make a slight amendment. I’d like to take you down to the Public Garden and have a picnic and read from P.G. Wodehouse.”

Now here’s Nathaniel on what he wore:

My wedding was coming up a few months away and I wanted to find a morning coat. I had purchased a waistcoat and morning trousers from Charles Tyrwhitt. I’ve gotten some good shirts from them, and they were the most affordable and easiest option I had found. For the coat, I headed to Keezer’s, a venerable Boston establishment that has specialized in used men’s formalwear for over 100 years. Since the bride was in Milwaukee, her maid of honor accompanied me to offer advice. As I was trying on different contemporary morning coats, a salesman suggested that he might have another option for me.

He returned with a vintage Chipp morning coat, trousers, and waistcoat. The coat was a little long, but with some minor adjustments, the whole outfit looked perfect. The coat has all the small details I could have wanted, my favorite being a small thread behind the buttonhole to hold the boutonniere, and a gorgeous cutaway. Since our wedding was not the most formal affair, I decided to forgo a detachable collar and wear a tie in lavender, the color for the day.

Everything looked good until the week of the wedding. I picked it up from the dry cleaner’s, only to find the small mother-of-pearl buttons on the front destroyed. The only place I thought could make a last-minute repair was The Andover Shop. Two days later, Charlie, Larry and their staff saved the day with new buttons. The wedding went off perfectly, and I was grateful to be able celebrate in traditional morning dress.

Congrats to Nathaniel and Jane, and let his smashing outfit serve as an example of proper wedding attire to millennial fogeys everywhere. — CC

26 Comments on "Their Favorite Things"

  1. At least he didn’t have to wear an outfit made from used curtains in the Von Trapp’s Austrian estate!

  2. Let me preface my comment by wishing them the best and God bless them. I was checking emails this morning and reviewing one of my favorite sites “Ivy Style” as my wife and daughter prepared my Father’s Day breakfast. As I was getting another cup of coffee, my wife saw this story on my screen and enquired if it was an homage to gay pride fest. I must admit, the morning coated person confused me as well.


  3. That was a fantastic read. I am always happy to see good old-fashioned eccentricity alive and well. Congrats to the happy couple.

    Is it just me, or does the groom bear passing resemblance to Rick Moranis? Perhaps he’s also nestled somewhere in the von Trapp Familienstammbaum.

  4. Donald J. Trump | June 19, 2016 at 12:44 pm |

    @William Richardson

    Your ability to find new and innovative ways of being an insensitive jackass is impressive.

    • Good afternoon Donald J. Trump.

      Why the nom de plume? Well, after asking my female assistant, three other ladies in my office and my male boss, seems I am not the only one who is unsure about morning coat person.



  5. Reminds me of a story about Pres. Ron Reagan. The day before a summit chief of staff Baker had given Reagan a thick briefing book to help prep him. In the AM he found it still on the table, apparently untouched.Baker asked Reagan why he hadn’t cracked the briefing book. “Well, Jim, ‘The Sound of Music’ was on last night.”

  6. Typingperson | June 22, 2016 at 2:19 pm |

    Why is he wearing a morning coat to an afternoon wedding? Sounds pretentious.

  7. No morning coats after 12 or dinner jackets before 6!

  8. This is the worst site I have ever seen on the internet.

  9. That’s the worst comment I’ve ever seen on the Internet.

    OK actually it’s not that bad…

  10. The most pretentious and insufferable wedding announcement I have ever read.

  11. It must be nice to be so rich that you can be this much of a pretentious douchebag and still have friends who will show up to your wedding.

  12. Really, you two…

    And people thought our readership was all curmudgeonly reactionaries.

    • Am I the only one out here who feels that The Sound of Music, with a couple of exceptions, is god awful and practically unwatchable?

  13. Laura Hillebrand is going to write this up for her next one.


  14. So pretentious. The NYT article is hilarious

  15. I’m fond of bowties, three piece suits, P.G. Wodehouse, and doing my own thing, and yet if I tried for a million years I would not be able to craft such an obnoxious, pretentious persona for myself, or similarly obnoxious wedding (and announcement). They have literally managed to take almost everything I like and present it in a highly unlikeable manner.

  16. The bride’s dress is absolutely stunning, but no mention of its origin here or on the announcement? Come to think of it, do we really know anything about this bride beyond the fact that she hails from (sotto voce) Indiana and she aspired to read the Bible over summer vacation? I know, I know, this is probably some wry social commentary on how these frivolous wedding announcements are often bride-centric. But I need to know more about the dress. Won’t someone please think of the children? (And yes, I’m eagerly awaiting the ping of the google alert that signals a new arrival in the Peters Sloan household.)

  17. Pish posh Lydia.
    The entire thing is an ode to the superior quirky eccentricity of the groom. The groom wooed like this, the groom proposed like that, the groom’s family is this, the groom arranged the beeswax candles, the groom selected 15 songs, the groom thinks Ivy Style will appreciate his vision quest for a morning coat.

    The bride only appears because he needs someone to marry who wears the right glasses for his curated narrative to work.

    As a friend of mine remarked elsewhere, “female characters significantly underdeveloped.”

  18. Henry Contestwinner | June 23, 2016 at 6:04 pm |

    There are others who felt this wedding announcement to be, uh, shall we say, lacking in grace:

  19. Henry Contestwinner | June 23, 2016 at 6:19 pm |

    “No morning coats after 12 or dinner jackets before 6!”

    Then what, pray tell, does one wear to a formal engagement in the afternoon—a frock coat? Or is there an “afternoon coat” that no one has told us about?

  20. Making fun of the punctilious fellow who takes “morning” coat literally.

  21. Gosh, this couple is so pretentious! Not to mention, vain. The New York Times article is a hoot and a half. It sounds as if they plugged in everything they wanted to be written about them but it hardly sounds realistic. The Sound of Music references, really now. Claim to fame, don’t you got any other?

  22. I’m utterly flummoxed by some of the reactions here. The issue must be resent at one’s betters.

    A reader sent in this from a San Francisco debutante ball where the debs were excoriated in the comments section for their “archaic whiteness.”

  23. I think she’s his beard. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  24. Elaine richard | July 1, 2016 at 7:53 am |

    I think this whole thing is a brilliant hoax from start to puke-inducing finish. Loved every second of it, though can’t decide which was funnier, the quotes or the commentary. Those poor kids. What a disaster for the whole world to see … and to enjoy for all the wrong reasons. Where were the grown-ups?

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